Patent Attorneys

 

 

 

The subject of licensing of patents attorneys is formalized in Israel as set forth below:

  • Chapter I of the Patents Law, 5727-1967 (hereinafter: the “Patents Law”), Sections 142 and thereafter;
  • The Tenth Part of the Patents Regulations (Office Practice, Rules of Procedure, Documents and Fees), 5728-1968 (hereinafter: the “Regulations”), Regulations 124 and thereafter;
  • Commissioner Circular No. 030/2014, dated April 16, 2008 (hereinafter: the “Circular”), which is available on the website of the Israel Patent Office.

 

Forms:

Eligibility to receive a patent attorney’s license

Pursuant to Section 142 of the Law, a person is entitled to be registered in the Register of Patent Attorneys and to receive a patent attorney’s license, if she or he satisfies all of the following conditions:

 

1. She or he is an Israeli resident.

 

2. She or he possesses the appropriate education in accordance with one of the following:

  • She or he is registered as an engineer in the Register of Engineers and Architects;
  • She or he graduated from an institute of higher education, in one of the following subjects: engineering, chemistry, physics, biology, pharmaceutics or computer sciences;
  • She or he graduated abroad, at an institute of higher education or a higher technological institute approved for this purpose by the Ministry of Justice, in one of the aforesaid subjects.

3. She or he successfully passed the examinations (see details below)

 

4. She or he underwent a traineeship in Israel for at least two years at one or more of the following places:

  • A patents attorney’s office which practices the profession for at least three years;
  • At the Patents Department of an industrial enterprise;At the Patents Department of an industrial enterprise;
  • In the course of her/his work as a patent examiner at the Patent Office.

 

5. She or he has paid the required fees.

 

Examinations to Receive a Patent Attorney’s License
An applicant seeking to be registered in the Register of Patent Attorneys is required to successfully pass the written examination, the oral examination and the examination in languages.

The Written Examination:
In the written examination, the examinee is required to draft a patent application (specification and claims) in one of the following fields of her/his choice: Electronics, Computers, Mechanics, Biology or Chemistry.

The Oral Examination:
In the oral examination, the examinee is required to show that she/he possesses knowledge of the laws of patents, designs and trademarks in Israel and in foreign countries, and of other relevant laws. The Regulations determine that in this examination, the following laws are included: the main principles of the copyright laws in Israel; the main principles of the substantive laws of patents, designs and trademarks in the industrialized countries; the main principles of the international laws in the area of protection of the intellectual property and the industrial property; the evidence laws, insofar as required for conducting proceedings before the Commissioner.
It is possible to obtain, from the website of the Israel Patent Office, a Collection of Sample Questions which were asked during previous examinations.

Examination in Languages:
This is an examination that is conducted in writing, in which the examinee is required to prove that she/he has full command of the Hebrew language and of another language that is required of her/him for the purpose of her/his work. The examination includes the translation of an extract/extracts from one language to another.

Entitlement to a Special Date for Soldiers on Military Reserve Duty and for Their Spouses:
On October 30, 2016, an amendment to the Patents Regulations (Office Practice, Rules of Procedure, Documents and Fees), 5728-1968 (Kovetz Hatakanot – Collection of Regulations, 7721, page 41) was published. In accordance with the amendment, entitlement has been determined to set a special date for an examinee who is a soldier on military reserve duty who received a sudden call up to military reserve duty, and also for the spouses of such soldiers. All in accordance with the definitions, terms, conditions and circumstances as set forth in the amendment to the Regulations that have been published as stated above. The text of the Regulations is also displayed on the Israel Patent Office website Examinees who are found to be so entitled are invited to submit an application to set such date as stated above, in accordance with the Regulations, to the following e-mail address: PatentAttorney@justice.gov.il

 

Exemptions from examinations

Exemption from an oral examination:
In accordance with Commissioner Circular No. 030/2014, Update (1), dated March 17, 2016 (hereinafter: the “Circular”), a trainee patent attorney who wishes to be granted an exemption from an oral examination is required to show that She or he possesses the knowledge that is required in the examination, by satisfying the following conditions:**

 

  1. The required knowledge was acquired in the curriculum of an LL.M. or an M.A. which focuses on intellectual property laws, and which has been approved by the Council for Higher Education, at an institute of higher education or at another institute with regular studies.
  2. The curriculum as specified in Section 1 includes courses in fields that are equivalent to all of the subjects that are included in the material for the examination regarding the laws (the main principles of the copyright laws in Israel; the main principles of the substantive laws of patents, designs and trademarks in the industrialized countries; the main principles of the international laws in the area of protection of the intellectual property and the industrial property; the evidence laws, insofar as required for conducting proceedings before the Registrar).
  3. The trainee patent attorney who wishes to be granted an exemption was present at 80%, at least, of the classes in each one of the courses specified in Section 2.

**The full terms and conditions are set forth in Commissioner Circular No. 030/2014, Update (1).

 

Exemption from the examination in languages:
In order to receive an exemption from the examination on the examinee’s proficiency in Hebrew, the trainee patent attorney who wishes to be granted an exemption may submit one of the following documents:

  1. A certificate attesting to graduation with a degree from an institute of higher education in Israel;
  2. A matriculation certificate;
  3. A certificate attesting to studies at high school.
  4. A certificate attesting to studies at a high school overseas where the language of instruction, to a significant extent, is Hebrew.

 

In order to receive an exemption from the examination of the examinee’s proficiency in a foreign language, the trainee patent attorney who wishes to be granted an exemption may submit one of the following documents:

  1. A certificate attesting to studies at/graduation from a high school overseas at which the studies are taught in the relevant language, to a significant extent;
  2. A certificate attesting to studies at/graduation from an institute of higher education at which the studies are taught in the relevant language, to a significant extent;
  3. A certificate attesting to graduation with a degree from an institute of higher education at which the studies are taught in the relevant language.

 

Registration to the Examinations
The qualifying examinations for patent attorneys are held twice a year. The dates of the examinations are published on the Israel Patent Office website at least two months prior to the date of the examination. In addition, notice is sent of the setting of the date of the examination to the e-mailing list of the Israel Patent Office.


A person who wishes to take the examinations is required to pay the examination fee and to provide notice to that effect to the Israel Patent Office, not later than one month prior to the date of the examination. The effective date for this purpose is the date of receipt of the registration form and the confirmation of payment of the fee at the Israel Patent Office.
After the receipt of the registration form and the confirmation of payment of the fee at the Israel Patent Office, the applicant will be sent confirmation of registration for the examination and notice of the time and the place of the examination.

 

Registration for an examination is contingent upon compliance with the two following conditions:

  1. The presentation of a B.A. graduation certificate, at least, in one of the subjects specified above as being the required education, or in the alternative, the presentation of confirmation that attests to the need for the completion of two examinations only in order to be granted such a certificate;
  2. The completion of at least half of the traineeship period (i.e., the accrual of at least 12 months of the traineeship).

 

The Traineeship
The minimum period of the traineeship is two years. Pursuant to Commissioner Circular No. 030/2014, Update (1), dated March 17, 2016, a patent attorney’s traineeship is required to be in a scope of 36 weekly hours at least.

A traineeship in a scope that is lower than 36 weekly hours will extend the period of the traineeship accordingly (see Section 1.2 of the Circular). However, a traineeship in a scope that is lower than 18 weekly hours shall not be recognized.

A trainee patent attorney shall not be absent from the place of his traineeship for more than 30 days during one year of the traineeship, and days of absence exceeding 30 days will not be included in the count of days of the period of the traineeship. In the counting of the said 30 days of absence, absences due to illness (up to 30 days), military reserve duty or maternity leave as required by law shall not be included.

Pursuant to Regulation 137, it is possible to request a shortening of the traineeship period by three months for each year that the trainee patent attorney worked overseas at a patent attorney’s office or at the Patent Department of an industrial enterprise, provided that the total shortened period will not exceed 18 months.

The traineeship must be carried out under the supervision of a patent attorney with a license to practice and who has been practicing her/his profession for at least three years. The trainee patent attorney must work under the continuous supervision of the trainer, and together with her/him.

A traineeship that is carried out at the Patent Department of an industrial enterprise will be recognized for the purpose of receiving a patent attorney’s license in the event that the traineeship was carried out under the supervision and at the direct responsibility of a patent attorney who works at the industrial enterprise, and subject to the trainer being the bearer of a patent attorney’s license for at least three years.

Reporting on the Traineeship
Pursuant to Regulation 136, the trainer is required to give notice to the Israel Patent Office of the commencement of the trainee patent attorney’s traineeship, no later than one month after the trainee patent attorney actually commenced his traineeship at the trainer's office. In accordance with the Commissioner Circular, if the trainer’s notice with respect to the commencement of the traineeship was received after the expiration of one month after the commencement of the traineeship, the date of the receipt of the notice shall be deemed to be the date of the commencement of the traineeship.

At the expiration of each year of the traineeship, the trainer shall send to the Israel Patent Office a report which provides details of the kind of work in which the trainee patent attorney was engaged, the number of weekly working hours, and the overtime hours that were put in by the trainee patent attorney during the period of his traineeship – if any.

Reporting on the commencement, middle and completion of the traineeship shall be made through the online filing site of the Israel Patent Office, after identifying oneself with a smartcard. 

Registration in the Patent Attorneys Ledger
An applicant seeking to be registered in the Patent Attorneys Ledger is required to submit the appropriate authorizations that attest to compliance with the requirements as set forth in Section 142 of the Patents Law, including a document attesting to the payment of the required fees (the fee for registration in the Ledger and the annual fee for patent attorneys) which can be paid through the payment server

 

 

After the registration has been completed, the name of the patent attorney will be published in the Patent Attorneys Ledger, which is published on the website of the Israel Patent Office.
A patent attorney is required to pay the annual fee for the following year before the 1st of January each year. In accordance with Regulation 142, in the event of the failure to make payment on time, the patent attorney is required to pay a supplemental fee in respect of the delay in payment at a rate of 5% for each month of delay or part thereof. In the event of a patent attorney who failed to pay the fee for a period of five years, his name will be removed from the Ledger.

The renewal of a license, including the payment of the annual fee, will be performed through the online filing site of the Israel Patent Office.
 
 
Representation
In accordance with Sections 154 and 155 of the Law, a patent attorney may represent parties before the Commissioner of Patents. She or he may also represent them in proceedings in court, in any matter which pertains to an invention or to a patent and which is not a legal point, provided that the attorney of the said litigant is present at the same time.

 

  • Should you wish to receive any clarifications with regard to the licensing of patent attorneys, you may contact us by sending an e-mail to:  PatentAttorney@justice.gov.il

 

The Disciplinary Committee – Disciplinary Proceedings for Patent Attorneys
 
Pursuant to Section 146 of the Patents Law, 5727-1967 (hereinafter: the “Patents Law”), the Minister of Justice is entitled to appoint a disciplinary committee, which will discuss complaints against patent attorneys. Such complaints are filed through the Israel Patent Office.
 
 
Pursuant to Section 148 of the Patents Law, the following are disciplinary offenses:
  • Being convicted of a criminal offense involving moral turpitude;
  • Granting authorization to someone who is not a patent attorney to make use of one’s name as a patent attorney;
  • The display of inability, a lack of responsibility or negligence;
  • Unfair conduct in professional work or in a manner that does not befit the profession;
  • A violation of the rules of professional ethics.

 

The punishments which the Disciplinary Committee is authorized to give are as follows: a warning, a reprimand, a fine, a ban on working in the profession for five years, removing the offender’s name from the Ledger.
 
Decisions
 
The decisions of the Disciplinary Committee can be appealed against in the District Court.
The Disciplinary Committee decides on the manner of publishing its decisions. It is possible to inspect the decisions that the Disciplinary Committee has permitted for publication.

 


Representation
In accordance with Sections 154 and 155 of the Law, a patent attorney may represent parties before the Commissioner of Patents. She or He may also represent them in proceedings in court, in any matter which pertains to an invention or to a patent and which is not a legal point, provided that the attorney of the said litigant is present at the same time.
 
  • Should you wish to contact the Disciplinary Committee or to receive any clarifications with regard to the licensing of patent attorneys, you may contact us by sending an e-mail to: PatentAttorney@justice.gov.il

 

Note
 
The foregoing is a summary, which is not binding in any respect whatsoever, of the provisions of the Law and the Regulations and the Commissioner Circular, and it is necessary to inspect the provisions thereof in order to be fully aware of the legal situation. In any event, the provisions of the Law and the Regulations shall prevail for all intents and purposes.